if you haven't already, please read part one first.
Dan holds my hand all the way to the car, begging for me to reconsider. We spend the next five minutes watching my brother clear stuff out of his backseat and S create her own little drama talking to Nick, some how she ends up crying, with Nick trying to comfort her without involving body contact. Dan is clinging to me, mostly hiding behind me, but he comes out to tell me that he is annoyed by S's crying, I have to say, I don't really blame him. I admit that I haven't been paying much attention to the conversation, but the crying seems unnecessary, inappropriate and if I thought she had it in her, calculating. Tears get used as weapons far too often (says the girl who had tears streaming down her face for most of the movie, but I'm going to argue that that is a different situation).. Finally, everything is rearranged and there is room for three people in the backseat all we have to do is get in and we'll be on our way. Nick heads for the front seat, but my brother tells him that he's in back, thankfully there is no argument. I extract myself from Dan's embrace and say goodbye. He leaves looking far from thrilled and I keep thinking poor Dan, he thinks I'm going to end up in a ditch by the side of the road. I know better, but he's going to worry no matter what. Poor Dan. Hope I didn't ruin his night.
By the time we all pile in the car (we have to insist on seatbelts all around, our passengers are too grateful to put up much of an argument even though it quickly becomes clear that the mechanics of just a seatbelt are a bit much for them. I will give them the excuse that they were pretty tightly packed back there, but still...). What I discover upon getting into the car (besides an old book on trains that I cling to for most of the ride) is that we have to make a couple of stops for our tagalongs to get their stuff. (See, they're clearing out of town, they hate this place. They go on at length about the evilness of the cops around here, which is sadly not far off the mark. Mind you, I'm sure that some of the cops around here are good people, but I'm too aware of the bad things that have gone down in the area due to bad cops. I don't blame these people for wanting to get as far away as possible). Elzeard also had a couple of stops he needed to make, but we forego them because we are already cutting things close, we have an hour to make the movie and while that's doable, it's very tight.
The first stop is Fern's (or possibly Fawn's) house. She lives right across from the graveyard where I later find out Nick found these people to begin with. T's stuff is up in the graveyard, so he's off to collect it while S is getting her stuff from Fern's place. This takes much longer than any of us want, my brother and I keep shooting Nick dirty looks. Nick is trying to convince us that "This is the party!". Nick has a weird obsession with "the party", which is where ever he is, if my brother is there or something like that that I have yet to figure out. Anyway, despite Nick's protestations, we're sorely tempted to just drive off. The only reason that we don't is because we're not sure if we have anything of their's in the trunk. The minutes are ticking by and I'm thinking that maybe I should just go back to my truck, I want to see the damn previews and the last movie I paid to see, I missed the first five minutes of, which does not make me a happy camper. But I sit tight, telling myself, it's gonna be a good story. To spare you the suspense, we miss the previews and the first minute or two of the film, but that comes later in the story.
T finally returns from the cemetary laden with an assortment of brightly colored backpacks and bags all stuffed and bulging. Elzeard gets out to open the trunk and pack these things away, I can feel the car rock as they shove every thing in. S want's to give Fern money, but T has all the money (remember, he went off and did the check cashing thing) and he doesn't want part with it. So they argue, T parts with a small portion of the money, but S wants to give Fern more. As they argue the minutes continue to tick by, and with no real options and no end to the argument in sight, we exert pressure of the "we're going to drive off without you" variety. Finally, they climb back in with S calling out "I love yoooou Fern" and we're finally able to depart. Immediately, T is insisting that we have to make another stop for one more bag. This is when my brother decides that we will skip the two stops he had intended to make in hopes of speeding our exit from this town. We manage to extract directions from T, of course, he continues to give them very loudly in my ear even after I've tried to explain that we know where we're going. So we stop and wait for T to get this last bag, which looks a lot like a couple of bags, jacket or two and a half full four liter bottle of diet soda that appears to be lacking a cap that upon his return. He piles in and at last we're on our way for real. Or at least, that's what I thought.
We'd barely made it out of the parking lot when T has extracted another bottle from his pack, this one is not soda, it's about a quarter full 750 mL bottle of what appears to be vodka. Nick is trying to convince them to put it away in the back seat while T is insisting that they just need to finish it off. T and S are taking turns swigging from the bottle and S doesn't seem to be getting the better end of the deal. As soon as I confirmed that it was indeed a bottle of alcohol back there, I told Elzeard to pull off into the nearest parking lot, which thankfully was easily done at that moment. We pulled off and parked saying that we weren't going anywhere with an open bottle in the car. For a moment T and S seemed determined to try and down it, but S was clearly not up for much drinking at this point in time (there were several minutes when I feared that we were going to add the aroma of puke to the already pungent smells that permeated the car despite all the windows being down and the fan being all the way up - thank god for warm summer nights). Finally, T was convinced to devest himself of the booze in a more timely fasion, we all thought that he would simply pour the alcohol out and stash the bottle for appropriate disposal later, but no, he tossed the whole bottle out the window at the little parking lot devider in front of us. I watched a thin stream of alcohol splash across the front of the white car sitting across from us and briefly felt sorry for the people who owned it. But relief was a much bigger factor despite the undesirable littering factor. We could finally get going for real and that was enough to sustain me. Even through the abandonment of the bottle of soda that happened moments later was we were leaving the parking lot. At least it wouldn't get spilled in the back of my brother's new car and that was a good thing, as was our departure, the sooner we made it to Roseville the sooner we could bid these people adieu and the more airflow we got the better.
(to be continued in part three)